I received a call from Master Stambowsky on March 31st, asking me if I would like to teach at his Jiu-Jitsu camp in Mexico. Immediately I said yes. Who wouldnt?
My wife and I had never been to Mexico, and we both love to travel, plus I would get a week with Stambowsky learning from him on just about anything.
So my wife and I met Stambowsky at JFK International Airport and we flew down to Mexico together. After a very long journey we arrived at a hidden gem in Mexico. We were immediately welcomed with a hot and sunny weather and incredibly welcoming people.
When we left the airport, we took a cab to the hotel, a one and half hour drive, and the cab driver played us Tupac and Bob Marley as he zoomed like the driving laws didnt apply to him. Needless to say it was a very exciting drive with a most beautiful scenery.
Upon getting to Puerto Escondido and our hotel we met up with Brad and the others from the camp and we walked over to the Spirulina, a super laid back and chill restaurant. Where I got to try Hibiscus Flower Juice, and some of the most amazing cooking.
Then we went back to the hotel, changed, and headed to our training area where our host Adrian welcomed us most warmly. We had an open mat that night, it was amazing to train and roll for hours while overseeing the ocean and the sunset. To finish training we had Ice Cold Coconuts.
That night Taylor and I had dinner at the hotel just by ourselves as we were exhausted. Dinner at the hotel was incredible. Just the freshest items were used. Arguably the best salsa we had.
Every morning we started it off in the best of ways by having breakfast at the hotel were we had fresh mangoes and a huge assortment of freshly cut fruits, eggs, cheeses, coffee and plenty more.
We usually followed it by doing a morning training sessions, then usually an amazing lunch at a location that Brad or Adrian recommended. Then an afternoon training session, then great food for dinner. I was very blessed as my wife and I were never disappointed with anything in this trip.
We also were taken to local attractions by Adrian such as a "Mezcal-aria" that was family owned where we learned about Mezcal; Also taken to see the local market which contained a number of different fruits and vegetable and handcrafted items I had never seen before.
One of the things I noted the most about Puerto Escondido was their sense of freedom and artistic expression, lots of street art everywhere.
The other thing to note was people's general stress levels were so low and almost none existent, mostly because of the laid back attitude that everyone seemed to have... I assume a daily dose of Jiu-Jitsu, Beach, Surf, Sunlight and great food will do that... But on a serious note we should all take note that we are in this world to live and enjoy it, not to stress and deteriorate.
I got to share some of my favorite techniques as well as some philosophy and mindset that can aid everyone in their journey. We discussed: behavior, mindset, reactions, techniques, reflex development, longevity and growth both in and out of the mats. If you missed out on this... well you missed in some great knowledge that got dropped.
On top of the attractions Adrian and Brad had planned for us, Taylor and I, wanted to see as much of this place as possible. So we arranged for a Bio-luminescent bay excursion which was incredible, I have never seen such a phenomenon.
We also managed to go to a Bird Sanctuary tour. Which was surreal, we saw a large number of different species and got to finish our tour at a sandbar that had a single hut on it, the ocean on one side and a lagoon on the other. We had breakfast there. It was incredible being that isolated from modern society and surrounded by nature.
We also got to release baby Sea Turtles and learn about them. That was another really cool experience.
On my birthday, the camp guys with Adrian's help managed to make it an extra special day by arranging for a true legitimate mariachi band to come out and sing happy birthday to me. I can honestly say that was a very unique experience. Then later that night they managed to get a birthday cake for after dinner. Thank you all for that experience.
As the week ended, having trained and taught with all of the camps participants i shared something with them. I told them that I originally took this trip mostly for a mini-vacation with Taylor and for a week of getting to talk/learn from Stambowsky. However I, from day one, was just pleasantly surprised and happy that this trip became something more. I created friendships and a bond with each of the participants. I came to the trip knowing only my wife and Stambowsky and Brad.. Yet a left with a group of very good friends. To me that was one of the best things about this trip. Thank you all for being a part of our amazing experience. That's why I love Jiu-Jitsu, if you train, we are one big family even if we haven't met yet. So thank you all for the friendships and for sharing on this experience with us.
As always a special thank you to Adrian for hosting us, you were/are incredible, and to you as well Brad for organizing this event.
A bigger special thank you to Master Marcio "Macarrao" Stambowsky for the life lessons as well as the Jiu-Jitsu lessons on this trip. As always you are a great influence.
PS: Expect me to visit the Macarra Region this fall!